In a bit of Colorado River detente, the Palo Verde Irrigation District has filed a motion in Riverside County Superior Court to withdraw a lawsuit it had filed against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California over the use of water on Met-owned land in the Palo Verde District:
The move does not mean peace on the river between these two powerful water agencies, but it does at least create space for discussions, including a meeting scheduled for next Monday between leaders of the two organizations.
PVID filed the suit last year over its concerns about what Met was doing on land the municipal water agency owns in the rural agricultural district. PVID has been increasingly concerned that Met will scale back farming in the desert valley to send the saved water to folks in urban, coastal California. Met has repeatedly try to assure the Palo Verde community that its intention is to collaborate and support continued farming.
The suit was a minor legal skirmish, over California Environmental Quality Act issues rather than the underlying water rights and management questions – more of a shot by PVID across Met’s bow. The concerns at the heart of the dispute have not gone away, but will now be addressed in meetings and negotiation rather than litigation.